Every year, you should be looking at ways to enhance the revenue of your dental practice. If you’re keeping track of your financial records, it shouldn’t be hard to pinpoint areas where you can improve (and even the best dental practices have room for improvement).
Overhead percentages are a common place to look. And annual fee increases are another way to stay competitive and keep profits strong. Sometimes the ways to keep your practice’s revenue flowing don’t cost anything except attention. Consider looking at your office culture and staff training. The culture should revolve around your practice’s identity; what makes you unique? Know what that is, make sure staff know, and work on communicating it clearly to patients.
Secondly, staff should be well-trained in everything from how to talk about fees and payment schedules to treatment plans. These are typical areas that staff tend to be uncomfortable talking about, and can cost lost revenue for lost opportunities, or missed payments.
When it comes to patients, regularly engage with them. Your practice should have a way of keeping tabs with patients electronically, or at least sending periodic mailers about anything from new procedures, seasonal discounts, or dental health tips. It costs less to keep existing patients, and happy patients are excellent referral sources.
Another good rule of thumb is to always keep an operatory open. If you don’t have an extra operatory, make room for one if you can. It’ll allow you to book more patients, decrease patient waiting time if another chair isn’t ready, and will give you more space to work.
When considering other ways to enhance practice revenue, you should evaluate whether it makes sense to add new procedures. Invisalign, teeth whitening, CAD/CAM, basic oral surgery, implants, or sedation are all viable options that with some training, you can add to the mix for more profits.
Entrepreneurial dentists are ditching the insurance-only practice model in favor of a mixed or no-insurance structure. What we’ve found talking with dentists and studying the marketplace is that insurance can be a major barrier to enhanced dental practice revenue. Patients’ insurance caps are low, so they spread out treatment or decline it because insurance doesn’t cover it.
Alternatives to insurance are subscription-based dental plans with your office or third-party payment options. Some offices have found great success in subscription-based plans based on their patient base and marketplace.
Are you looking for ways to grow your dental practice revenue this year? Dental CPAs can evaluate what’s working well and what may be missing. Contact us today.